Welcome for Citizens Assembly recommendations to address gender-based violence as a gender equality issue

24 April 2021


Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) today warmly welcomed the recognition by the Citizens Assembly of gender-based violence as a serious gender equality issue with a suite of actions recommended to address it.

DRCC’s CEO Noeline Blackwell said: “The words used by the Assembly in their open letter to the Oireachtas are striking and very clear:

There is no place in our society for gender-based violence. We support the aspiration of the Istanbul Convention to create a Europe free from violence against women and all forms of domestic violence. We want our Government to work actively towards this goal.”

The Citizens Assembly makes 45 recommendations for action, with several addressing gender-based violence including sexual violence. These include political focal points, provision of appropriate and necessary services and a focus on education, which all accord closely with suggestions made by DRCC to the assembly in its submission.

Ms Blackwell concluded: “As the Citizens Assembly Chairperson Catherine Day put it, the Assembly is part of the process of changing modern Ireland for the better. Their recommendations range from institutional reform through the elimination of tolerance for gender-based violence in our society to specific reforms for better services and structures. They show how much remains to be done, but they also offer a clear pathway for achieving that vital change to a society free from gender-based violence.

“We in Dublin Rape Crisis Centre are deeply grateful to the members of the assembly for their very hard work and dedication – they have done a profound service for their country in making it a better place for everybody. We are committed to furthering and achieving that aim.”


Notes for editors:  

  • You can read the Citizens Assembly press release at http://www.citizensassembly.ie/en/what-we-do/meetings/voting-results-citizens-assembly-on-gender-equality/voting-results-citizens-assembly-on-gender-equality.html
  • DRCC’s paper to the assembly is at https://www.drcc.ie/news-resources/resources/drcc-submission-on-gender-based-violence-to-citizens-assembl/
  • You can read DRCC’s topline recommendations at https://www.drcc.ie/news-resources/resources/drcc-recommendations-on-gbv-for-citizens-assembly-mar-2021/
  • A video of CEO Noeline Blackwell’s address, together with other members of the panel, to the assembly members is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvhsaMSiGjc
  • Dublin Rape Crisis Centre is a non-governmental, voluntary organisation which has as its mission to prevent the harm and heal the trauma of rape. It offers a suite of services to victims/survivors of sexual violence.  
  • DRCC continues to operate the National 24-hour Helpline 1800 778888 for those who need support in any part of the country with no reduction in service.
  • DRCC offers counselling & therapy to clients and provides accompaniment to the Rotunda Sexual Assault Treatment Unit, to court or to Garda stations to people in Dublin and in surrounding areas by arrangement.   
  • Outreach offices at Coolock Civic Centre, Dóchas Women’s Centre, Mountjoy Prison, Balbriggan and Tallaght Hospital are usually open at select times, but physical premises are closed during the COVID19 crisis and clients are being supported remotely.   
  • We ask that when reporting on this topic, journalists should remember that discussions on sexual violence can trigger personal trauma in those receiving the information. Where possible, please make reference to the National 24-hour Helpline 1800 77 88 88 for anyone who may be affected by the discussion.  
  • Dublin Rape Crisis Centre is one of the frontline services engaged with the Department of Justice & Equality on its #StillHere campaign. The stillhere.ie website contains information on supports and services for people affected by domestic violence including sexual violence, as well as digital & online safety and courts, legal aid and advice.